Fresh from celebrating the new breed of talent on Congo Natty Presents: Nu Jungle Vol 1 just last month, UK music pioneer Congo Natty continues to navigate the genres and generations with his most explorative and accomplished studio album to date: Ancestorz (Rootz Jungle)
Set for release on August 26 via NewState, and 25 tracks in weight, the album tells the tale of the global diaspora, weaving mystical roots from native America to India, Jamaica to Japan, giving a voice to the people. He describes it as his life’s work.
“We give thanks to the lockdown,” explains the man previously known as Rebel MC, a pioneer in nascent UK hip-hop and MC culture. “I couldn’t have written something like this if I was on the road. I had to write this like a samurai. You can’t just say you’re a samurai. It means every morning you get up and you’re on your discipline. That’s how music is.”
Linking up with kindred disciplinarians from across the universe such as Akala, Klashnekoff and jazz saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings (to name a few), Ancestorz weaves us through the lineage of reggae to jungle and maps out its global influence and community. “It’s the bass revolution,” explains Congo who’s last studio album was Jungle Revolution in 2013 on Big Dada. “Without jungle there’s no grime, no UK garage, no drum & bass. Jungle was consciousness. A dynamic frequency and a tempo. It was a gear changer. Like a car suddenly discovering a new gear. The same happened with hip-hop. The same with jazz. The same with reggae.”
Ancestorz allows Congo to join those dots and weave those roots in a way that’s not been done before. Ahead of its release comes a series of singles in July and August. First up is a double single out now: Athos, a collaboration with Fleck and Liv Tafari and Jungle Defender that features melodica played by Addis Pablo… Son of dub pioneer Augustus Pablo. Roots to the source don’t come much stronger.
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